Montana Quit Claim Deed Form
Once a Montana Quit Claim Deed has been duly executed and recorded, part or all of the property interest a Grantor holds will flow to the Grantee named in the form. There are many circumstances which may give rise to using this legal instrument. The Grantor may be a parent who wants to help set their child up by gifting them their family home. Or, the Grantor may be a newly married husband or wife who wishes to add their spouse to the title of a property they bought prior to marriage. As highlighted by these two examples, the parties should already be connected in a substantial way and be certain of the nature of the title in question. The reason being that a Quit Claim Deed provides no clarity to the Grantee as to whether there is a cloud on title, or if the Grantor even holds the interest they claim to.
Laws: 2017 Montana Code Annotated, Title 70: “Property”
N.B. Many other resources on Montana Quit Claim Deeds incorrectly state that the 2015 Montana Code Annotated is the most relevant set of laws for Quit Claim Deed. However, this Code is now outdated. The most relevant set of laws is the 2017 Montana Code Annotated, as provided above.
Addresses (§ 7-4-2618): The post office address of the Grantee must be stated in the Deed.
In writing (§ 70-20-101): Any property transfer, such as that established by a Quit Claim Deed, must be in recorded in written form. The legal document provided here therefore meets this stipulation.
Joint tenancy (§ 70-20-105): For a joint tenancy to be established, the names of the joint tenants must be stated in the form.
Mandatory details and features (§ 7-4-2636(1)(a)(b)(c)(d)): All Quit Claim Deeds submitted for recording must:
- Be printed in blue or black ink (including any signatures) on white paper with a) eight and a half (8.5″) x eleven inches (11″) or b) eight and a half (8.5″) x 14 inches (14″) dimensions,
- State the Grantor and Grantee’s names on the first or second page,
- Provide a property description, and
- State the name and mailing address of the party the document should be returned to. The name should appear in the upper left-hand corner of the first page between the side margins.
Margin requirements (§ 7-4-2636(1)(e)): The margins in any Quit Claim Deed must be clear of all markings except for page numbers, initials, or other designations. The following table highlights the margin requirements stipulated by state law for all Montana Quit Claim Deeds:
|Position of margin||Margin Requirement|
|At the top of the first page:||A minimum of three inches (3").|
|At the top of the second and any subsequent pages:||A minimum of one inch (1").|
|At the bottom of each page:||A minimum of one inch (1")|
|At the sides of each page:||A minimum of 1/2 an inch (0.5")|
Signing requirements (§ 70-21-203): The Montana Quit Claim Deed must be acknowledged by the Grantor before a notarial officer.
How to file a Quit Claim Deed in Montana (§ 7-4-2613): Any Quit Claim Deed created in Montana must be presented to the County Clerk and Recorder for recording in the county where the property is situated. The County Clerk has set fee that they will charge for recording the Quit Claim Deed, as stated in § 7-4-263. Along with the Deed, the filer will need to complete and file an additional mandatory document, as detailed below.
The filer should also be conscious of the fact that as § 70-21-304 stipulates, Montana follows a “race-notice recording act.” This law outlines that the Quit Claim Deed will be void if:
- It is not recorded at the County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, and
- A subsequent purchaser or encumbrancer of the same property records their conveyance.
It is also crucial to file the Deed ASAP as § 15-7-304 makes the recording mandatory due to the tax implications involved.
Additional mandatory document (§ 15-7-305): In line with the Realty Transfer Act, it is a requirement for “a certificate declaring the consideration paid or to be paid for the real estate transferred” to be presented to the County Clerk and Recorder at the time of recording the Quit Claim Deed. The Department of Revenue provides a Realty Transfer Certificate (Form 488) that can be completed to meet this requirement.
It should be kept in mind that if the form is not filed, § 15-7-310 states that the County Clerk and Recorder may impose one of the following penalties:
- A maximum of five hundred dollars ($500.00),
- A maximum sentence of six (6) months imprisonment in the county jail, or
- Both of the above.